Coming soon: Bent Rail Brewery


Recently had the good fortune to spend a few minutes in sunny SoBro with Bradley Zimmerman, head brewer for the much anticipated (scheduled opening is slated for the end of January) Bent Rail Brewery.

Located just south of 54th street on Winthrop Avenue, Bent Rail is bringing value to the neighborhood by remodeling and making fine use of a once dilapidated former fitness center. With plans for an ample beer garden (sorry, no pics of that space. It's 5degrees outside) and direct access to the Monon Trail, Bent Rail is poised to become a regular spot for neighborhood residents as well as beer enthusiasts from afar.

Zimmerman tells me the initial plan is to offer at least 3 house flavors: A Kolsch, slated to ring in under 5%ABV, an American Brown Ale, slated to ring in at about 5 1/2% and an IPA, also in the sessionable bracket, weighing in at under 5%ABV. There are also loose plans for a future barrel program as well as plenty of room in the shiny new 15bbl Craftwerks brewhouse for Zimmerman to stretch creatively.

Bent Rail is also planning a family friendly dining experience, CoOwner Derek Means tells me the plan is for upscale diner fare with house smoked meats and fresh baked breads with some potential for house made barbecue options once the weather breaks. There are even plans in the works for house made peanut butter, as well as almond butter, for the youngsters (or for those of us who are still youngsters in our own minds).

For the more adult minded patrons, Bent Rail has been approved to serve spirits in addition to their beer offerings. This bodes well for the beer-cocktail connoisseurs among us. 

With so much of the focus in the craft beer market in recent years on piling in truck loads of hops and corresponding heavy ABVs; Bent Rail is set to be a breath of fresh air; with beautiful outdoor space and plenty of easy-drinking session beers.

Brace yourselves - Spring is coming. And that beer garden is just a short bike ride up the trail. 

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